Today I don't think it is hyperbole to say that we have past through the period historians might one day call the period of the American Republic.
With the DoJ's responses to the House Judiciary Committee's FISA questions, it is clear that we are now living under some new form of government. The Republic of Adams, Jefferson and Hamilton is lost and while we may keep the songs, displays, and the meaningless pantomimes of self government - it is clear that we have dispensed with the idea of representative democracy. Glenn Greenwald spells it out.The Republicans and Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee submitted detailed questions to the Bush Administration regarding the NSA program, and the DoJ's responses to both the Democrats' questions and its responses to the Republicans' are now available.
There are numerous noteworthy items, but the most significant, by far, is that the DoJ made clear to Congress that even if Congress passes some sort of newly amended FISA of the type which Sen. DeWine introduced, and even if the President "agrees" to it and signs it into law, the President still has the power to violate that law if he wants to. Put another way, the Administration is telling the Congress -- again -- that they can go and pass all the laws they want which purport to liberalize or restrict the President's powers, and it does not matter, because the President has and intends to preserve the power to do whatever he wants regardless of what those laws provide. (snip)
Put another way, the Administration has seized the power of Congress to make the laws, they have seized the power of the judiciary to interpret the laws, and they execute them as well. They have consolidated within themselves all of the powers of the government, particularly with regard to national security. This situation is, of course, exactly what Madison warned about in Federalist 47; it really is the very opposite of everything our Government is intended to be. Read the whole thing.